New law allows retired police dogs to be adopted by their handlers

A new law on the books created the Police Dog Retirement Act and gives retiring police dogs the chance to be adopted by their handlers.

Gov. Rauner signed Senate Bill 3129/Public Act 99-0817 during a ceremony at the Illinois State Fair on Aug. 13, which was First Responders Day. The new law will allow all K-9 police dogs that are used by a county, municipal or state law enforcement agency and is deemed no longer fit for public service to be offered first to the handler on the force. If the officer does not want the dog, it will then be offered to another officer or employee of the agency, a non-profit agency, or a no-kill animal shelter that may facilitate an appropriate adoption for the dog.

The Act takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

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